What’s NFD? I always like to think fresh and out of the box. Ever since I became an entrepreneur, I was inspired and became full of ideas from digital media, technology, productions, creative writing to inventions. I tackled each one with vim and vinegar as they say. I was told by many to “focus” and “not spread my wings too thin”. Well I do enjoy many things and multi-tasking various projects simultaneously – it’s in my blood. So why not if I am going to go out on my own – who says I can’t do what I enjoy in life? So that’s what NFD with me. I set out and created a business plan to do various things that inspire and motivated me as a media-preneur. Today, I am proud that I have accomplished this and much more. Here’s what I’ve done, what else I’m doing and how I’ve tackled some things.
Each day is full with a busy agenda. I have to say I am a very organized person and do enjoy keeping busy. No doubt I think we need to like our lifestyles or you can’t succeed at various projects like these. Many things just led from one to the other, for me. As example, when I got laid off in the corporate world I already had the experience of sales, marketing, promotion, management and leadership under my belt. I felt confident to take those skills anywhere. Then I had creative media ideas – to devise solutions for other clients and help them succeed in their local businesses. I reached out and networked, as I always loved doing. I created a portfolio of services that matched my experience level and mapped those to a self-published website. I identified businesses I was interested in pursuing and determined ways in which I could help them grow. We agreed on scope of work and collaborated on client strategy, social media, digital media, advertising planning and placement, branding, video productions, general marketing, event planning and productions, budget management and those sorts of things. I expanded those efforts to include sponsorship sales, PR, promotions, ad creation, product placement, radio, outdoor, and all forms of advertising, project management, some web development to provide guidance, etc. I enjoyed each phase working closely with my clients across many industries. I pitched, devised proposals – won some and lost some projects – it’s all part of doing business.
I outsourced, partnered, utilized minimal outside staff in order to keep expenses down while ramping up to grow my start-up business. Let’s face it, that what we are all told, how to do it in order to succeed. Yes, it’s hard and time-consuming but nothing replaces that hands-on tactical experience like doing it yourself and learning from the ground up! I realized during this time, I was following in his footsteps. I never looked at him as a true entrepreneur rather as a general business professional until he no longer could do it himself when he took ill. Then a few years later I finally realized I had adapted many of my father’s traits. Although I focused in different fields than him, I have had the same energy level and inspiration that he had for so many years. Now that he’s gone, I keep his memory alive by thinking about his accomplishments and what made him enjoy all the things he did for his family and himself. And I continue to thrive on just the same and focus on what I enjoy doing most.
As an entrepreneur, first I became a digital media expert, putting those skills sets into PLAY. Then I became an author while going thru a difficult period in my life fighting breast cancer and divorce. Then a fashion designer and an inventor. It hasn’t been easy. As an author I wrote a trilogy series documenting my journey through breast cancer, divorce and the legal process and how to launch a business as an entrepreneur. Now I’ve recently completed my fourth book which discusses the idiocies I’ve learned along the way with real life experiences that didn’t quite add up and will share with my readers the lessons I learned. I add humor to my life and in my writings which help me get through the tough times. It adds a bit of levity to my horrific experiences and just makes each day a little brighter and easier to get by.
Writing on the other hand has become great therapy too. I used to say, I last worked in cable TV by day and beaded by night as my first entré with a solo business (Beaded Baubles, LLC) and now I invent and work on media by day and write by day and night (Jean Criss Media, LLC). It’s really not that complicated. I focus and prioritize and juggle a lot between my teen’s schedules. I meet deadlines – with publishing, fashion production as a new intimate apparel designer, with scheduled meetings and so forth. It becomes passé once you know how to be driven, are strong minded, disciplined and determined to succeed.
I began blogging for Intimate Apparel Journals, and focus on content development with that same vim and vinegar approach. I do my own research, attend industry meetings, conferences, and conduct product and marketing research to be able to write about the latest advanced solutions in breast health and wellness and other technology trends. I add my personal touch and experience when appropriate. I devise and propose ideas often and stay ahead of the curve by attending industry trade shows and monthly seminars and events with colleagues. I read industry publications and key articles to stay on top of trends, news and the latest buzz. I know we can’t be everything to everyone but what we can do is continue to be a sponge and learn each and every day. If we are open to that, we get something back and can give something to someone else too. For breast cancer my motto is; don’t let cancer get the breast of you – I didn’t!
For fashion and inventions, it is much of the same — from product creation, market research, development, execution, implementation, and change, change and change to manufacturing, production, sales and operations. And more of change, change and change. It is a continuous process and one which requires stamina, perseverance and self-motivation to succeed.
I remember I was held back in the corporate workplace. I used to ask my former senior management if I could take on more responsibility but they weren’t prepared for someone like me, to change the corporate landscape – allowed to think out of the box in the world of performance management metrics. Now I can do so each and every day and it is inspiring. I might have been held back then but today it’s mine and your gain! That’s how I view it. I have always been successful at my career and that’s because I’ve always enjoyed what I do for a living.
In the end, no matter what you aspire to do, whether product development, product inventions, writing, blogging, advertising, promotion, sales or marketing, etc. your success lies with your commitment to excellence. Imagine your dream, create your happiness and live your life – true BLISS! as I describe and live out my dreams! Now go live yours and put your ideas into PLAY! If you need help, give me a shout.
You can learn more about author Jean Criss at http://jeancrissmedia.com/author-trilogyseries. Her books are available in e-format and softcover, discounts available at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach Jean at http://facebook.com/jeancrissauthor or http://facebook.com/jeancrissmedia or http://twitter.com/jean_criss. Other social links can be found at http://jeancrissmedia.com.